Bernal, Alexander – 4th Armored Division

Born on November 28, 1919 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Killed in Action on January 10, 1945 in the woods north of Bastogne (Bois des Corbeaux).

Army Service Number: 36315271.


Son of Stanislaw and Anna Wzorek Bernal of Polish descent. They came to the United States in 1903. Alex had four older sisters, two older brothers, one younger sister, and two younger brothers. By 1940 Alex had completed eight years of schooling and found work as a lumberyard laborer. His mother died later that year. He was drafted into the army in February 1942. Reached the rank of Sergeant in the 35th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division.

Alexander was first buried at a military cemetery in Belgium. In 1949, he was repatriated to the USA and reburied with military honors at the Resurrection Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum in Justice, Illinois.

January 10, 1945 at 0900 hours, Combat Command A launched its assault. At the start, the troops encountered light enemy resistance, but as soon as they emerged out of the woods north of Bastogne (Bois des Corbeaux), German artillery opened up inflicting heavy casualties. At 1350 hours, the 4th Armored Division received the order to break off the assault and had back to an assembly area near Assenois. But by then, the order came too late for several men of the Fourth.
One of these men was Sergeant Alexander Joseph Bernal, 29 years old …